Transfer Rumours: Brandt to Liverpool, Chiesa to Bayern, Rodriguez Replacing Neymar at PSG & More

​Rumours. No, not the acclaimed album by Fleetwood Mac, although the first track on that album – ‘Second Hand News’ – could be an appropriate lament for any player down on his footballing luck. 

No, we’re talking transfer rumours and, from the ridiculous to the sublime, there’s a lot of them bounding about. Let’s have a look, shall we?


Brandt Reaffirms Commitment to Bayer Leverkusen Despite Tiny Release Clause

Julian Brandt

A strange one to start with – Julian Brandt has reaffirmed his commitment to honour his Bayer Leverkusen contract, despite said contract apparently containing a measly £22m release clause. 

Speaking to the Bundesliga’s official ​website, Brandt proclaimed: “I’m enjoying myself. I’ve got a contract with Bayer until 2021, so right now all is well. As things stand, I’m staying put. I just want to end the season as best we can.”

The thing is, by talking about honouring said contract, you also bring to attention the ‘believed’ (as the ​Sun put it) £22m release clause placed within said contract to your suitors, such as, I don’t know, ​Liverpool. Right, Jurgen?


Man Utd Set to Beat Liverpool to Swansea’s Daniel James

Dan James

Daniel James can do incredible things. If you didn’t know that before (and believe me, I envy you, because it’s been royally shoved down my throat) then you do now, because you’ve just seen him ride an invisible horse. 

Because of said footballing and equestrian talents, he’s amassed quite the army of admirers, including both ​Manchester United and Liverpool, but according to the ​Daily Mail, it is the Red Devils who have emerged as the frontrunners for the £10m footballer/jockey. 

Well, someone has to take the Old Trafford bait this summer, so why wouldn’t it be a Welsh winger who plays under Ryan Giggs. I can think of one or two…


Ryan Babel Close to Galatasaray Switch 

Ryan Babel

I can think of few people for whom Fulham’s relegation was more career-advancing than Ryan Babel. The ageless Dutchman came in January from Besiktas, collected five goals and four assists in 15 Premier League games, and now looks set to return to Turkey, this time with the likely Super Lig champions.

That’s right, as per the ​Sun, Babel’s stop-off in west London has simply aided him in securing a healthy deal with Turkey’s top club, after his deal with the third-best club ran down. Not bad going. 


PSG See James Rodriguez as Neymar Replacement if Real Switch Occurs

James Rodriguez,Neymar

Someone in the Paris Saint-Germain hierarchy has gone down the 2014 World Cup rabbit-hole – we’re talking Pitbull’s ‘We Are One’ and everything – and emerged enamoured with all things James Rodriguez.

That’s the only explanation for the Parisians’ purported citing of ​James as the best possible replacement for Neymar, should the Brazilian up sticks for Real Madrid this summer, as per ​Sportbild. That, or James’ representatives really want him to get a decent contract wherever he ends up this summer. 


Burnley Hand Gary Cahill Premier League Lifeline

Gary Cahill

Let’s just take a moment to thank Burnley, who’ve been taking on dross has-been English talent since, well, they decided to pump out £4m for Joe Hart and brought Peter Crouch back to the big time. They’re the Premier League’s true Good Samaritans, and we’re truly grateful. 

According to the ​Daily Mail, the Clarets are set for another summer of sacrifice with the free agent signing of Chelsea’s spurned centre back Gary Cahill, in the face of considerable competition from ‘other’ so-called ‘Premier League’ sides. Sure, Gaz. Sure. 


Bayern Enter Fray for Federico Chiesa But Juventus Remain Favourites

Federico Chiesa

​Bayern Munich have entered into the hotly-contested fray for Fiorentina wizkid Federico Chiesa, readying a €60m offer for the Genoan winger ahead of the retirements of both Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben *pours out drink*. 

The problem is, whereas all roads used to lead to Rome, it now appears this has been amended to Turin, thus is the draw of the eight-time successive Scudetto winners. Yes, according to ​Alfredo Pedulla, despite the smiling headshots of both Bayern and Inter, Chiesa remains on course for a date with Juventus. 

La Viola would ideally like a fee in the region of €80m to €90m, especially from those less desirable teams in Bavaria and Milan, though the Old Lady are hopeful of using their considerable experience to haggle this down to a more appealing fee.


Arsenal and Ajax Send Scouts to Watch Brazilian Starlet Antony

Antony

Let’s be real, no one outside of Brazil has seen anything but YouTube highlight reels of Antony, but we’ll call him a starlet anyway, because Sao Paulo have slapped a £21m bounty on his head, and that’s how it works. 

The ‘highly influential’ (but still scoreless for the senior team) 19-year-old has a €50m release clause in his contract, but SPFC’s financial problems mean two-fifths of that would go a long way. According to ​Yahoo, this has pricked up the ears of Arsenal’s scouts, who are seeking replacements for one-time starlet Danny Welbeck and outgoing starlet Aaron Ramsey.

However, with both Ajax and Lyon similarly quick on the Antony uptake, it will be no easy fight, and straying from the traditional Premier League model of not stumping up for youngsters until they’re a bit more established and triple the price would be a bit risqué for the ​Gunners.

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Manchester United Eye Ambitious Move for Paulo Dybala as Summer Overhaul Plans Take Shape

​Manchester United are supposedly set to make an audacious bid to sign Paulo Dybala from Juventus as they eye a complete overhaul of their squad this summer. 

The 25-year-old, who is currently in England after being granted a leave of absence by his club, has endured a frustrating season in Turin. Despite helping Juve secure an eighth consecutive Serie A title, Dybala has scored just ten goals in 39 appearances in all competitions. 

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The Argentine has also had to contend with the arrival of ​Cristiano Ronaldo from ​Real Madrid

this season, which has seen him play second fiddle to the Portuguese star at times.

As a result, ​Calciomercato are reporting that ​Manchester United could offer ​Dybala an escape route from Turin in deal that could cost the ​Premier League side as much as £85m.

The Red Devils have endured an extremely poor season, which will see them finish outside the top four and subsequently fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

With the likes of ​Paul Pogba and others linked with a move away this summer, it’s expected that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will drastically overhaul the squad, as Dybala is just one of many players set to be linked with the Red Devils.

The problem that United will have though is attracting players from clubs assured of Champions League football next season, never mind Dybala from a ​Juventus side aiming to win the competition. 

Paulo Dybala,Noussair Mazraoui

This season has been Dybala’s worst in front of goal for Juventus since his move from fellow Serie A side Palermo in 2015. He netted 23 goals in his first season, before scoring 19 goals in 2016/17 and then 26 goals in 2017/18. 

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Fabio Quagliarella: 7 Incredible Facts About the 36-Year-Old Outscoring Cristiano Ronaldo in Serie A

​Sampdoria striker Fabio Quagliarella continues to set Serie A alight this season, leading the way in the race for the Italian league’s golden boot ahead of a certain Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 36-year-old has continued to get better with age and is now producing the best form of his entire career for a Sampdoria side who currently find themselves ninth in the table.

UC Sampdoria v Genoa CFC - Serie A

Quagliarella is in the 20th year of his professional career and has played for eight clubs across the country.

Here are seven more fascinating facts about the Italian.


Stalker Scandal

Quagliarella was stalked by policeman, Raffaele Piccolo, for five years. Piccolo sent him and his family death threats as well as making up rumours that the forward was committing crimes such as dealing drugs, fixing matches and claiming that he had links with the Mafia.

Fabio Quagliarella

The pressure of the situation forced him to leave Napoli after only one season, which led to his move to Juventus where he won three consecutive Serie A titles.


Wears Number 27 as an Ode to a Childhood Friend

Quagliarella wears the number 27 in honour of Niccolo Galli, a childhood friend and youth academy teammate of his who used to wear this number. 

Fabio Quagliarella

Galli died in a road accident in 2001 while on loan at Bologna from Arsenal. The Italian club have retired the shirt in his honour.


27th Player to Win the Premio Nazionale Carriera Esemplare ‘Gaetano Scirea’

The number 27 also has another special meaning for Quagliarella, as he was the 27th player to win the Premio Nazionale Carriera Esemplare ‘Gaetano Scirea’. 

UC Sampdoria v Genoa CFC - Serie A

This is an award dedicated to footballers over the age of 30 playing in Serie A in recognition of their playing ability and sportsmanship by the Unione Stampa Sportiva Italiana (Italian Sports Press Union).


Leading the Capocannoniere Race

Quagliarella would become just the third Sampdoria player to win the Capocannoniere​ (Serie A Golden Boot), if he maintains his position as leading goalscorer this season. 

Fabio Quagliarella

He is currently on 25 league goals, three ahead of Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata and four ahead of Juve’s Cristiano Ronaldo with just three games of the season remaining.


Scored in a Record 11th Consecutive League Games

Quagliarella equalled Gabriel Batistuta’s record for scoring in 11 consecutive Serie A games this season with two goals in a 4-0 victory over Udinese in January.

Fabio Quagliarell,Riccardo Saponara

The Italian was a decade older than Batistuta when he matched the record. The Argentinean was 26 when he set the target while playing for Fiorentina during the 1994/95 campaign.


Oldest Goalscorer in Azzurri History

The striker is Italy’s all-time oldest goalscorer, having scored twice against Liechtenstein at the age of 36 years and 54 days in March this year.

Fabio Quagliarella

Those goals took him to nine in 27 matches for his country.


Waited Eight Years Between Azzurri

He had to wait a long time to move on from seven international strikes however, as there were 3,048 days between Italy caps number 25 and 26 for the Sampdoria man. 

Ciro Immobile,Fabio Quagliarella

There was a gap of eight and a half years between a friendly game against Romania, where he got the equaliser in a 1-1 draw, in November 2010 and his next cap as a substitute against Finland in March 2019.


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Transfer Rumours: Mitrovic to West Ham, Lo Celso to Spurs, Cancelo to Leave Juventus & More

Gather round, everyone. It’s time to learn about some fresh new transfer rumours.

​The transfer window is right around the corner, and it will soon be time for teams to put their money where their mouths are.

Without further ado, here are eight stories to keep you entertained.


Brighton Eye Ambitious Move for Chelsea Starlet Reece James


If you’ve been paying any attention to the ​Championship this season, you’ve probably heard about the teenage sensation that is Reece James. On his first loan spell away from ​Chelsea, the 19-year-old right-back has taken ​Wigan Athletic by storm, and has been touted by many as the next coming of ​Premier League icon Pascal Chimbonda (Okay, maybe just me).

On a serious note, ​The Argus state that ​Brighton and Hove Albion want James, but they have not got time for all this loan malarkey. They want a permanent deal, but Chelsea have no interest in selling, especially with their transfer ban looming.

Fans of the Blues would riot if Chelsea sold James, but it just seems like something they would do. After all, there’s probably a thoroughly average right-back in the ​Serie A who could be signed for £30m to replace him.


Agent Confirms Newcastle’s Interest in Exciting Benfica Star Rafa Silva

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Mike Ashley looks to have been bitten by the transfer bug, and he’s ready to build on the record arrival of Miguel Almiron with some new stars, one of whom is Benfica’s Rafa Silva.

Speaking on ​Radio Renascenca’s Bola Branca, Rafa’s agent Antonio Araujo​ confessed that ​Newcastle United are one of many sides chasing the 25-year-old, who has racked up 19 goals this season. However, fans of the Magpies shouldn’t get their hopes up just yet.

Araujo pretty much admits that he plans to use Newcastle’s interest to get Silva a new contract with Benfica, which is definitely an interesting plan. To be fair, there are only a few things scarier than the financial might of Newcastle – maybe just puppies or rainbows.


Everton Ready to Part Ways With Cenk Tosun as Clubs Open Talks

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Just in case you’ve forgotten about Cenk Tosun, he’s the Turkish striker who has played just 41 minutes for ​Everton in the last three months.

With just three goals to his name this year, ​Aksam claim Everton are eager to cut their ties with Tosun as soon as possible, and they have already opened talks with a number of unnamed clubs (how’s that for suspense?).

A return to Turkey with Besiktas is probably in everyone’s best interests right now, and it seems just a matter of time before Tosun finds himself on a list of Premier League flops.


West Ham want Aleksandar Mitrovic to Lead Squad Overhaul This Summer

Aleksandar Mitrovic

After a worryingly uninspired start to the season, ​West Ham United managed to turn their fortunes around, and they’ve finished the season just averagely uninspired. Baby steps.

To help take that next step, Manuel Pellegrini appears set to throw the likes of ​Javier Hernandez, Lucas Perez and ​Andy Carroll overboard, and the ​Daily Mail claim he wants ​Fulham’s ​Aleksandar Mitrovic to be the focal point of his revolution.

With Fulham falling back to the Championship with little more than a whimper, the Serb will likely be available for transfer. Unlike the rest of the Cottagers, he actually scores goals, so that would be useful for West Ham.


Napoli Prepare £20m Bid for Newcastle Fan Favourite Ayoze Perez

Ayoze Perez

In what has been a turbulent season for Newcastle, the form of striker Ayoze Perez has been one of the real shining lights. He has struck 12 goals this season, and looks to have played his way into the sights of some European giants.

According to the ​Northern Echo, ​Napoli have identified Perez as their primary target for the upcoming transfer window, with Carlo Ancelotti thought to have sent scouts to watch him on a number of occasions in recent weeks.

The Magpies definitely want him to stay, but a bid of £20m could prove too good to turn down.


Tottenham & Everton Ready to Battle for £40m-Rated Giovani Lo Celso

Giovani Lo Celso,Gerard Pique

Real Betis struck gold when they agreed a £21.5m deal to sign Giovani Lo Celso from Paris Saint-Germain. The 23-year-old midfielder has been one of ​La Liga’s standout performers this season, but he might not be staying in Spain for long.​

​The Sun claim both ​Tottenham Hotspur and Everton have taken notice of Lo Celso’s form, and their interest could prompt Betis to cash in on their star, with a bid of at least £40m said to be in the works.

But, why would Spurs want a new goalscoring midfielder? It’s almost as if ​Christian Eriksen is leaving. Can you imagine?


Lille Reject ‘Absolutely Huge’ Offers from Europe’s Elite for Sporting Director Luis Campos

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When it comes to scouting talent, there are few better than Luis Campos. After unearthing gem after gem with Monaco, the 54-year-old opted to test himself with Lille and, lo and behold, look who has rivalled PSG at the top of Ligue 1 this year. If you haven’t realised, Campos is really good at what he does.

So good, in fact, that Chelsea, ​Real Madrid and ​AC Milan all want him to come and wave his magic wand in their respective recruitment departments, but they better think of a ‘Plan B’, because Campos isn’t leaving. Speaking to ​Le Parisien, owner Gerard Lopez confirmed that he rejected “absolutely huge” offers from the three clubs to lure Campos away from Lille.

For Chelsea, it’s probably a good thing that Campos isn’t coming. I mean, would the Blues even be able to function without making about ten useless signings every year?


Juventus Wiling to Offload Joao Cancelo With Man City & Man Utd on Alert 

Joao Cancelo

Just one year after his move to ​Juventus, Joao Cancelo could find himself on the way out this summer. He has been held accountable for some costly mistakes, and Massimiliano Allegri is said to have lost patience with his failure to follow instructions.

​Both Corriere dello Sport and La Gazzetta dello Sport (via ​Football Italia) state that ​Manchester City would be keen on a €50m deal for the 24-year-old, but Pep Guardiola is not the only one interested.

​Tuttomercatoweb add that ​Manchester United have already opened talks with Juventus to try negotiate a cheaper deal for Cancelo, and have even offered to include Matteo Darmian in a player-plus-cash deal. Grab the popcorn, this could be an interesting one.


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Miralem Pjanic Says ‘PSG Would Attract Any Player’ as Juventus Exit Rumours Grow

Juventus star Miralem Pjanic has given no indication that he intends to leave Turin for Paris-Saint Germain whilst speaking on French television – though he did take the time to heap praise on the Ligue 1 champions.

Pjanic was a guest on ​Canal Football Club and was asked about whether he had considered ever playing for PSG. The Bosnian responded by stating that PSG are one of the top clubs in the world, but refused to contemplate on whether he would end up finding his way to Paris once he leaves the Old Lady.

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“PSG are amongst the top eight European clubs. They want to go to the next level in the Champions League, it is a very big club that would attract any player. 

“There is a footballing project, some truly great players and they have this desire to win the Champions’ League. It is a club that is universally respected.”

The 29-year-old made it clear that his aim over the next few years was to lift the famous Champions League trophy, but he didn’t specify who that would be with.

He instead said that he was only focusing on finishing the season with ​Juventus and he would leave the speculation about his future to others.

“Everything is possible in football, I have been in Italy for eight years now and I am at a truly great club in Juventus. In football you never know what could happen. 

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“If everyone feels that way inclined, we could speak about a departure, but I am not at all thinking about that. I am only thinking about finishing my season and my aim of the next few years to win the Champions League.”

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